Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Supply of wine from Georgia to Russia decreased 7.5 times

10.02.2015. In January 2015, Georgia exported 1 million 343 thousand bottles (0.75 liters) of natural wine, which is 3 times less than in January 2014, Russian news agency Interfax informs referring to the National Wine Agency of Georgia.

According to the representative of the department, such a sharp decline in exports was mainly due to the devaluation of the ruble, which is why the delivery of wine to the Russian market decreased 7.5 times compared with January last year – and amounted to 366 thousand bottles (27.3 percent of the total exports).

Meanwhile, Russia still ranks first among importers of Georgian wine exported to 16 countries in January. It is followed by Ukraine where supply of wine decreased 2.1 times because of the situation in the country and the fall of hryvna and amounted to  324 thousand bottles, the top five importers also include Kazakhstan, Latvia and Poland.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

The new French-made documentary on Georgian wine released (with video)

09.02.2015 (Hvino News). À la source du vin ("At the source of wine") is the title of new French-made documentary film about Georgian wine, released on January 31, 2015 on French television. The new 52 minutes documentary was directed by Philippe Gasnier, who also is the author of script. Film's story line is the meeting between French and Georgian winemakers who are in love with making natural wine. Hvino News is planning to publish an exclusive interview with Philippe Gasnier soon.

You may watch the full documentary À la source du vin below (the language is French).

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dispute over “Khvanchkara” is successfully settled in China

08.02.2015.  The Trademark Office the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (SAIC) invalidated the unfairly registered appellation of origin of Georgian wine “Khvanchkara”. Besides, disputes over unlawfully registered appellations of origin “Tsinandali”, “Kindzmarauli” and geographical indication “Chacha” have continued between Sakpatenti and two Chinese companies since February 2014. National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia “Sakpatenti” expects that appeals over the other controversial appellations will be satisfied as well.

On May 23, 2013 Sakpatenti filed 6 applications for appellations of origin of Georgian wines “Tvishi”, “Khvanchkara”, “Tsinandali”, “Kindzmarauli”, “Mukuzani” and Georgian geographical indication “Chacha” for registration with the SAIC Trademark Office. 4 applications were rejected due to the similarity to the already registered marks. Examination on 2 appellations “Mukuzani” and “Tvishi” proceeded without any delay. In January 2015 both appellations were registered.

Sakpatenti does not expect “Khvanchkara” to be disputed. Accordingly, after the expiry of the opposition period, the appellation of origin of Georgian wine will automatically be registered in the name of Georgia.

For more details, read Georgian wine’s uphill battle for its rights in China.

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How Georgians brought wine to Europe

08.02.2015. Georgia has been acknowledged as the birthplace of wine by many archaeologists, associations and research organizations. For example, an atlas "The Vintner's Art" (NY 1992) by Hugh Johnson and James Holiday contains the following:

''Where was it first used to make wild wine? No one knows. But archaeology can point out the place where it was first cultivated. The scientific evidence (like the Book of Genesis) points to the foothills of the Caucasus. Georgia has produced the earliest evidence of vine selection and hence the emergence of the cultivated variety: Vitis vinifera sativa. Carbon-dating puts this change to domestication at about 5,000 BC. Mankind was therefore still in the Stone Age when he first cultivated the vine -- and presumably made wine.''

Wine expert and author of the world's best wine guide, Oz Clarke agrees. The text, attached to the map, made by him reads:

''The soldiers, settlers and traders who carried vine cuttings in their saddlebags from the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean merely wanted something to trade and something civilized to drink. The World's divers wine was the result.''

Friday, February 6, 2015

12 Georgian winemakers will be exhibited in Rome

06.02.2015 (Hvino News). Tomorrow Georgian wine will be exhibited in Rome, Italy, at two days' event Vini Naturali (also known as  Vignaioli Naturali a Roma). This is 7th gathering of Vini Naturali, which is about exhibiting the natural wines.

The Georgian natural wine producers who participate in the exhibition are: Archil Guniava, Chveni Gnivo, Gotsa Family Wines, Iago's Wines, Jakelli Wines, Lagivnari, Mandili, Nika Bakhia, Okro Wines, Pheasants Tears, Ramaz Nikoladze Winery, Teleda Wines. "The Georgian group of winemakers will talk about the magic of wine in amphorae", - say the organizers.

The events on 7-8 of February will be held at the prestigious Hotel Excelsior, Via Vittorio Veneto 125,  an ideal space for conducting the tasting. Italian and Georgian vintners, known for their commitment and dedication to produce wine in respect of the land and nature, will be joined by Portugese winemakers of Touriga Nacional and Rabigato, the Slovenian Istria, the Mosel and its elegant Riesling.

In the framework of the Georgian winemakers' vist to Italy, supported bu National wine Agency, the Georgian winemaker Eko Glonti presented his Lagvinari wines at the Rome's delicatessen shop Beppe e i suoi Formaggi on February 5.

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Georgia to showcase wines at Boston Wine Expo

06.02.2015 (Hvino News). One of the largest wine expositions in the United States is the annual Boston Wine Expo. On February 14th and 15th, wine trade and consumers will have the opportunity to taste wines from over 200 producers from around the world. Nine producers Georgia will showcase wines produced using modern methods as well as traditional qvevris.

The Georgian participants are: Badagoni, Bagrationi 1882, Chateau Mukhrani&GWS, Kindzmarauli Marani, Mukado Wines, Schuchmann Wines, Telavi Wine Cellar, Wine Man, Winery Khareba.

Another important event focusing on Georgian winemaking at Boston Wine Expo is the Seminar The Republic of Georgia: Wines from Ancient Vines, scheduled for February 15.  The Seminar is to be conducted by wine expert Lisa Granik, Master of Wine. Ms. Granik is involved in development of marketing strategy of the Georgian wine, as one of international experts cooperating with Georgia's National Wine Agency.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Georgia toasts to booming wine exports

by Jonathan Meaney

05.02.2015. Many drinkers in the West would probably turn their noses up at the thought of drinking wine from the former Soviet Union, but Western, and indeed Asian,  noses have become more receptive to the fruits of Georgia’s growing wine industry

In Forbes’ list of “Nine Wines and Spirits to Start Drinking in 2015”, the magazine named wines from the relatively unknown winemaking state of Georgia—that is the former Soviet state located in the Caucasus region at the border of Asia and Europe, not the U.S. state. In January, the New York Times included Pheasants Tears, a wine produced by American expat John Wurdeman and his partner in Georgia, on its “20 Wines for under $20” list.

Such recognition is indicative of the growing popularity of Georgian wines in the United States. According to a report by news outlet Voice of America, Georgian wines are being well-received by consumers in the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. “More and more people are more knowledgeable of Georgian wines,” said one liquor store owner who reported that monthly sales of Georgian wines in his store have grown from one or two cases to 20-plus cases in just two years; while a bartender at a popular D.C. restaurant claimed that once customers try a Georgian wine, “they’re generally hooked”.

Stefanie Maak: "I envy Georgians..."

05.02.2015 (Hvino News). The second Wine Cooperation Forum took place on 22 and 23 January 2015 in Kachreti (Kakheti region). This conference brought together many influential experts as well as policy-makers of the wine industry, including the head of Georgia's National Wine Agency, who made a presentation at the Forum.

The European Union and Georgia signed an agreement on "Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area" in June 2014, which will affect the long-term development of almost all economic spheres. Georgian producers and exporters will be offered free access to the EU market with over 500 million high income consumers. EU understands the importance of wine sector for Georgia, and offers cooperation and assistance programs in this field.

Within "Private Sector Development South Caucasus" (PSD SC) the project "Promotion of private sector development in the wine sector in Georgia" constitutes an integral part. PSD SC and its key partners established the Wine Cooperation Forum. The first Wine Cooperation Forum was held in April 2014 and has proven to be a useful tool for dialogue between state authorities and the private sector. Hvino News is honored to be among the partners of this international cooperation project, and today we welcome Stefanie Maak of AFC Consultants International GmbH, one of key project organizers. Stefanie Maak M.Sc.agr., Senior Project Manager at AFC, has kindly agreed to answer Hvino's questions.

You have just returned from the Forum in Georgia. Can you summarize your impressions for our readers? 

The topics (qvevri wines and education/extension in viticulture) were highly relevant to the sector. Thus, the forum was attended by representatives from all steps of the wine value chain. As the lectures were given by a mix of national and international experts, the symposium gave a very interesting overview on different views and approaches how to foster Georgian wine.

Georgian wine promoted internationally

05.02.2015. Georgian wine continues its journey in Europe and USA. After being exhibited at two exhibitions in the cities Angers and Saumur in France (read more here), Georgian wine will once again go on display at another two exhibitions. One will be held in Rome and is called Vini Naturali, which is about exhibiting the natural wines and the second one is Boston Wine Expo 2015. Later Sweden will host Georgian wine-testing event in Gothenburg, according to Georgian Wine Club Marani.

Vini Naturali exhibition will open take part on February 14-15. Together with 82 other countries Georgian wine-making companies will also represent natural wines at the exhibition. Out of 82 countries there will be exhibited more than 2 000 sorts of wine of more than 200 wine producers. Along with the exhibition there will be held the seminars which will determine what kind of chocolate or cheese is better with wine.

In total 12 Georgian companies, which produce kvevri wine will be shown at the exhibition. Among them are Archil Guniava’s Cellar, Gotsadze Family Cellar, Iago’s Cellar, Jakeli, Our Wine and others. These companies will show different kind of wine at the exhibition. The organizers say that there is huge interest towards Georgian wine from their side. It is planned to discuss the kvevri wine-making technologies during the exhibition.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vinotel: Wine and hotel

04.02.2015. If we say that Georgia is the cradle of wine-making, from the beginning, it should mean the considerable attempt of enlarging the wine education and promoting among consumers to obtain the right approach to the wine culture. All this will be very helpful proper to display the Georgian culture and traditions to a foreign guest.

On January 30th the list of high class wine locations was enriched with an interesting place, the Hotel Vinotel, which is located in the center of Tbilisi, at #4 Elene Akhvlediani Street. The hotel location as well as its functional design is a part of a vivid concept and a kind of guarantee for the successful business project. While having an insight into the vision of idea authors and founders, it becomes clear that this business, is rather sophisticated and firm will of popularizing the Georgian wine and the Georgian culture in general.

There is almost everything in the hotel that might give to a foreign tourist a good perspective of the authentic Tbilisi. The concept of the project aims to blend the 19th century Tbilisi spirit with the natural winemaking and slow food philosophy. Antique and handmade furniture, walls and ceiling decorated by hand try the best in creating a very comfy and natural environment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Georgian wine export - stats and major tendencies

03.02.2015. In terms of Georgian wine export, 2014 was a genuinely special year for the last 10 years. Conferring of intangible cultural heritage to qvevri winemaking, and canceling of the Russian embargo on the Georgian wine, had important influence as on quantity, as well as on visibility of the product.

According to the data provided by the National Wine Agency, income received from the sales of wines exported from Georgia in 2014 increased by 30% comparing with the incomes of 2013, and it was about 184,927,801 USD. Sales of wine brandy increased by 15%, unlike chacha, which fell down with 24%.

Monday, February 2, 2015

When will the wine museum be opened?

02.02.2015 (Hvino News). A year has passed since the idea of the  creation of the Wine Museum was announced (read more here: Prime Minister Garibashvili initiates wine museum), but the details of the project are still unknown.

The new director of the National Wine Agency George Samanishvili said that the "work on the project is ongoing and there is nothing new  in this regard", radio Kommersant reported.

According to Mr. Samanishvili, several ministers are involved in the process. When is the process to be completed, remains unknown.

As reported,  the Museum will be built on the Turtle Lake area adjacent to the Ethnographic Museum.

Last August the then head of the National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili mentioned that work on the project would be completed by the end of 2014 and construction works would start in 2015.

© Hvino News

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Minimum Retail Prices of wine in Russia not to affect Georgian products

02.02.2015. Minimum Retail Prices (MRPs) introduced by the government of the Russian Federation for imported and home-produced wine will not pose any danger to Georgian wine export.

Shalva Khetsuriani, president of the Georgian Sommelier Association, said that the minimum rates adopted in Russia will not create problems for Georgian wine because many foreign wines are much cheaper than wines produced in Georgia. "Our country does not produce wine of such a low value which is produced by the Spanish, Germans, French, etc. Their wine may cost 1 euro. Our product’s price is much higher, "- explains Khetsuriani.

As reported, after three years of struggle Russia's Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation has been given a permission to set minimum retail prices of wine.

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As number of Georgian wine producers reaches 100, Hvino to update information on winemakers

02.02.2015. Hvino.com has been keeping our own information data base on Georgia's wine industry since launch. Recently our list of Georgian wine producers has reached 100 companies. This is an amazing figure for a small country, confirming the unique product diversity of the Georgian wine market.

At the same time, Hvino's readers - from Georgia and the rest of the world - are frequently asking for more precise information about Georgian wine producers, and especially about the newer brands, which keep on emerging.  While several dozens of largest companies sell their wines through popular retail chains and present them at regular wine fairs, other names are less known, and their product information is hard to find. International users cannot find the information in the internet, or the winemaker's websites are under construction. Are all the 100 wine producers active?

This is why Hvino decided to offer more detailed information to our readers. Our list of Georgian wine producers will be extended, including the fresh statistical data on wine production, export, and other information on wine manufacturers for 2014.

We are now asking all the Georgian wine producers to provide their updates. Please, contact us via e-mail, our facebook, or simply by commenting below. Just tell us your production volume for 2014 in liters or bottles. Optionally, you may also add your export data and other details, which also will be included in our table.

All the updates will be immediately published. If we are unable to receive any updates from certain companies, after several reminders such companies will be marked in our list as "sleeping".

We wish to thank in advance all the Georgian wine producers for their cooperation, and hope to offer the renewed and extended data to our readers as soon as possible.

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Potential benefits and risks of the Chinese market for Georgian wine

02.02.2015. During the first ten months of 2014 China imported 301 million litres of wine, worth USD 1.2 billion. The volume is six times more than the total export of Georgian wine during the whole of 2014.With over 900,000 litres China is the sixth largest export market for Georgian wine. The instability of partners is the main problem that Georgian wine producers face in the world’s most populated country. The economic slump of Russia has once again raised a question of market diversification for Georgian winemakers. Leading Georgian wine producers that have reduced dependence on the Russian market to a minimum are betting on Asian markets and testing the potential of India and South Korea.

Georgian wine export amounted to 45,931,023 litres, worth USD 180,721,000,during 2014, up from 35,905,939, worth USD 127,850,900, from the previous year. With 28,578,859 litres Russia became the first export market for Georgian wine, making up over 40%. In 2014 it was one year since the seven-year Russian embargo was lifted. With 6.3 million litres Ukraine is the second largest importer of Georgian wine. The export dropped from 9.9 million litres from 2013. Ukraine is followed by Kazakhstan, which imported 4.09 million litres. Belarus is the fourth market, amounting to 1.8 million. It is followed by Poland - 1.2 million, and China - 866,826 million litres, worth USD 4,664,900.

The Russian economic recession raised fears of expected losses for Georgian winemakers as there are some companies whose total export to Russia amounts to around 80-90%. The significant economic growth of Asian markets has turned out to have good potential for Georgian wine companies trying to reduce their dependence on Russia. However, total replacement of the Russian market remains unrealistic for at least the next decade.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Have a look at Georgian Superman – SuPraman

01.02.2015. A funny cartoon has gone viral in Georgian web space – Meet Supraman, a Georgian version of famous superhero from DC Comics. Like his American counterpart, Supraman also has a sole weakness – not kryptonite though just as deadly – a hangover. It is unknown whether Supraman can fly, though he has demonstrated the ability of silly walking at its finest.

The design is by Tbilisi-based artist Diana Tevanian.

[Compare it with Hvino's own character "Hvino-Man", designed last spring to mark Hvino's anniversary - HN]

Source (edited)

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Natural Georgian wines in France

31.01.2015. On January 29th Georgian winemakers left for France to attend and participate in two important events. First of them is an exhibition in Angers, which will be held at Hotel des Penitentes from 31 of January to 1st of February. The event will be attended by Georgian winemakers Iago Bitarishvili, Niki Antadze, John Wurdeman (“Pheasant’s Tears”) and Johnny Oqruashvili (“Okro Wine”), who have been guests of the event for past three years.

Georgian wine will also participate in second, bigger international event, which will take place from 2nd to 3rd February. This is an international exhibition of natural wines “La Dive Bouteille”, an event which is held every year, one month after new year, in Saumur. Here a large family of winemakers and wine appreciators gathers. Georgian qvevri wine has already found its place. This is clearly demonstrated on the official website of the event: “This family becomes larger every year and unites all – motivated young people, comparatively forgotten winemakers, who may find American uncles, African cousins, Georgian ancestors or Italian brothers”.

This year “La Dive Bouteille” will see the premier of Phlippe Gasnier’s documentary “Origins of Winemaking”. The movie is about ancient tradition of winemaking in Georgia and Georgian and French winemakers using qvevri wine technology.

Ministry of Agriculture does not confirm a decline of Georgian wine export to Russia

31.01.2015. This is an interview with Nodar Kereselidze, deputy minister of agriculture of Georgia.

Do you have information about reduction of Georgian wine exports to Russia? Do you plan to render any assistance to winemakers?

On the official level, we did not receive any information about the presence of any obstacles in the export of Georgian wine to Russia. If specific companies have any difficulties associated with fluctuations in the ruble exchange rate, unfortunately, our government agencies will not be able to affect them.

Wine companies also talk about such problems. According to them, due to the devaluation of the ruble, in January they had serious problems with the export of products to Russia. Do you know anything about this?

Everyone knows Russia's current difficult economic situation, accordingly, we use all our capabilities in order to help our winemakers to diversify markets. For example, we recently took part in a very big wine exhibition in Berlin. Our goal is to bring our producers closer to European markets.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Unique vine of Kartli - Mejvriskhevi Saperavi

Photo: Wine Club
by Giorgi Barisashvili

30.01.2015. Vine that we would like to introduce to you has never been kept in any of ampelographic lands of Georgia, until now. Though, it counts many years of existence in the village of Mejvriskhevi and villagers are making high quality rosés there.

Mejvriskhevi – a historic village of Shida Kartli is – situated in 20 kilometers from Gori and at 800 m above sea level, on the left bank of the River Mejuda. As the name of the river says, village was named as Mejudaskhevi, in the past. Though, the village is situated at 800 m above sea level, it offers really perfect conditions for the development of winemaking fields.

For the purposes of venue research, we have visited the village in 2014, for minor studies, having received some interesting information about Mejvriskhevi Saperavi. We have interviewed about 20 villagers, visited vineyards and sampled locally made wines.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Unlike wine, Georgian brandy exports to Russia not decreased

29.01.2015. (Hvino News). Unlike Georgian wine, Georgian brandy exports to Russia have not been suspended (read more: Export of Georgian wine to Russia halted). Brandy producers note that demand for Georgian brandy in Russia is still high.

While the wine companies reported about decrease in exports of wine to Russia, George Sharvashidze of JSC Sarajishvili says that the export of brandy to Russia is carried out without any problems. The company exported about 60 000 bottles at the end of December.

According to Sharvashidze, the company plans to carry out about the same volume of exports in a few weeks, however, adds that the future export capacity is not clear yet due to the devaluation of the ruble in Russia.

Akaki Tsopurashvili, general director at Wine Company Shumi, states that in total 18 000 bottles of brandy have been exported to Russia. He says that they like Georgian brandy in Russia and the interest is big. In Tsopurashvili’s words, the company already has a partner who is interested in the export of brandy from Georgia to Russia.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prime Minister hosts Lithuanian counterpart at vineyard in Kakheti

28.01.2015 (Hvino News) Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has hosted Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and the governmental delegation in Kvareli, Kakheti region.

The Prime Minister invited the Lithuanian delegation to the touristic complex of Winery Khareba's “Gvirabi” ("Wine Tunnel").

The head of the Georgian Government briefed the Lithuanian guests about Georgian wine culture. The members of the delegation tasted Georgian wines and traditional meals.

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Saperavi by Gorelli wins BTI medal in Chicago

28.01.2015 (Hvino News) On January 15th Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) in Chicago awarded bronze medal to "Queen of Iberia" Saperavi Reserve 2005 wine from Gorelli Ltd, with 82 points rating score ("Recommended".)

The official tester's note reads: "Garnet black color. Rich, fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of black raspberry pie and pencil shavings with a supple, tart, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting finish conveying notes of tomato relish, mulberry, cranberry skin, and bark with hard tannins. A very structured, tannic red for the table."

This Georgian wine by Gorelli won the prize at the 2015 World Wine Championship at the BTI, one of the oldest and most prestigious wine, beer and spirits rating agency in the world, making Gorelli Ltd the most decorated in overall Georgian wine producer in the USA. This was the only wine from Georgia which won the award this time at the BTI. Up to today Gorelli wines and B.S. brandy have won 12 Medals in the USA alone at Chicago (BTI), New York and Los Angeles World Championships.

The Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) is a marketing service company that provides reviews for spirits, wines, and beers. The judging ratings range from 96 to 100. BTI uses a tasting lab in Chicago.

© Hvino News, company news

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Georgian wine gallery opens in Berlin (with video)

25.01.2015 (Hvino News). The Georgian wine gallery was opened last week in Berlin (Germany) by the Tibaneli wine company. Tibaneli has been exporting Georgian wine to Germany since 2008. The new wine gallery is located in Savignyplatz in central Charlottenbourg district of Berlin.

The visitors will be able to enjoy Georgian wine, chacha and brandy, according to Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture.  25 products of Vinery Graneli, Askaneli Brothers, Twins Wine Cellar, Kvareli Cellar and Alaverdi will be presented at the gallery. Young Georgian painters will exhibit and sell their artwork at the gallery as well. 

Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia noted that that rising awareness of Georgian products abroad is very important and especially after signing the Association Agreement (AA). Georgian wine will become much more demanded on European market, believes Danelia.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Georgian Rkatsiteli wine hits the "New York Times" list of wines

25.01.2015. (Hvino News). The New York Times Food Section has included Georgian Rkatsiteli wine in the recently-published list of 20 best wines for under $20, authored by Tony Cenicola. The list, entitled "Worth the Search", starts with:
The great intersection of quality and value in wine occurs in the $15- to $25-a-bottle range. Here, you can find wines that are not merely sound or decent but fascinating, without breaking the bank.
For the first time NYT's "20 Wines for Under $20" includes Georgian wine Pheasant’s Tears Kakheti Rkatsiteli 2011 (price $19). The description reads:
This unusual wine, made from the ancient rkatsiteli grape, comes from the republic of Georgia, a cradle of winemaking history. It is fermented and aged in a qvevri, a traditional clay vessel lined with beeswax and buried in the earth. The result is a deep amber wine with a raspy texture, steely and full-bodied, with aromas and flavors of apples, herbs and nuts. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Georgian wines make Forbes list: a 'Voice of America's video

24.01.2015 (Hvino News). Earlier this month Hvino News reported that American Forbes Magazine for the first time included the Georgian wines in its top wines list: See "Forbes" includes Georgian wines in its "9 Best Wines and Spirits to Start Drinking in 2015" (By the way, that article became the most-read post published by Hvino News ever).

This theme's popularity is growing even stronger as Voice of America has now posted a video entitled Georgian Wines Make Forbes List of 'Best to Drink in 2015'. 

The attached text by Maia Kay reads:
Forbes Magazine has named Georgian wines as one of the "nine best wines and spirits to start drinking in 2015" — a list that also includes several fine liqueurs and a number of other wine varieties. A number of Washington-area liquor stores and restaurants say Georgian wines are being well-received by consumers in the U.S. capital. 
© Hvino News

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Exclusive glass for Saperavi wine to be made by Austrian company

24.01.2015. The glass designed for Georgian Saperavi wine will appear on the local market in early February (read also here). President of Georgian Sommelier Association Shalva Khetsuriani says that a final version of the cup has been approved and is currently being manufactured by Austrian glass wine company Riedel.

Khetsuriani explains that there will be two different versions of the glass: handmade (more expensive) and factory-made. The Saperavi glass will be intended for restaurants, hotels and wine lovers.

Shalva Khetsuriani spoke of the geometry of the glass, which ensures its uniqueness.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Export of Georgian wine to Russia halted

23.01.2015. According to Nutsa Abramishvili, CEO of Schuchmann Wines, 10 trucks loaded with 100 000 bottles of wine stopped due to the  limited transfer of foreign currency outside of Russia because of the ruble devaluation.

“We’ve received  excise stamps from Russia that have already been pasted on the bottles, in fact the products have been sold. But based on the fact that  goods are shipped in case of  prepayment and the transfer of currency abroad is limited because of the economic crisis, we had to stop already marked goods, “- she says.

According to her, the shipment should  be resumed in February, but due to  the unstable situation in Russia, there is no guarantee that the problem will be settled, and the goods will be sent  to partners.

Founder of Askaneli Brothers company  Jimmy Chkhaidze claims that due to the instability of the ruble, wine exports to Russia have been suspended – in particular, the company had no orders in January 2015.

George Margvelashvili, director of Tbilvino,  says the same thing. In his words, in December the company sent a large batch  of wine, and in January, no orders have been received. The company’s CEO expressed hope that the delivery will continue in February – roughly, Tbilvino plans to  export 100 000 bottles to Russia in February.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Free wine for foreign guests at Georgian airports to dry up tomorrow

19.01.2015. January 20th will be last day when visitors of Georgia can get a free bottle of wine after crossing the border.

All foreign citizens arriving in any of Georgia’s three international airports from December 20 to January 20 are receive a bottle of Georgian wine as a gift. The campaign was initiated by Georgia’s Entrepreneurship Development Agency, a state agency created in 2014 with the aim of spurring the growth of business.

A bottle of red dry Saperavi wine from the vintage 2012 collection is offered to each foreign visitor after passing through passport control. Read more here.

Visitors are also welcomed with banners reading: "Welcome to Georgia! EU Associated State.”

The label on the gift wine bottles has Georgia's coat of arms and inscriptions "Government of Georgia" and "Season's Greetings!" The campaign has already gained popularity in social media. "This is the way they meet you at passport control, everyone gets a bottle of wine, Georgia already in love with you", Agenda.ge quotes a visitor.

During the duration of the campaign, about 47,000 foreign guests were to receive a present, Georgia’s Entrepreneurship Development Agency said.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Returning Georgians and lesser-spotted Schuellers

Georgia –back to the future again

14.01.2015. As a country Georgia has been in our hearts and minds for several years.  And you can’t discuss Georgian wines without putting them into their historical and cultural perspective.

Once upon a time wild grape juice turned into wine when it was left buried through the winter in a shallow pit. This knowledge was nourished by experience, and from 4000 BC inhabitants of the current Transcaucasian region were cultivating grapes and burying clay vessels, qvevri, in which to store their wine ready for serving at ground temperature.  These qvevri were, and still are, very large terracotta clay jars fired in a kiln and then finished with an internal coating of beeswax. When filled with the fermented juice of the harvest, the qvevri are topped with a wooden lid and then covered and sealed with earth. The wine remains on the skins, stalks and seeds (the chacha) for a certain period, then will be decanted into a fresh qvevri, leaving the chacha behind (which can be later distilled into a fiery potion).

Wine vessels of every shape, size and design have been the crucial part of pottery in Georgia for millennia. Ancient artifacts attest to the high skill of local craftsmen. Some were used for winemaking, others yet were used for drinking, such as khelada, doki, sura, chinchila, deda-khelada, dzhami and marani. The continuous importance of winemaking and drinking in Georgian culture is also visible in various antique works of art. Many of the unearthed silver, gold and bronze artefacts of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC bear chased imprints of the vine, grape clusters and leaves. The State Museum of Georgia has on display a cup of high-carat gold set with gems, an ornamented silver pitcher and some other artifacts dated to the 2nd millennium BC. From classical Antiquity, Georgian museums display a cameo depicting Bacchus, and numerous sarcophagi with wine pitchers and ornamented wine cups found in ancient tombs.

Monday, January 12, 2015

"The New York Times": A wine revival at the foot of the Caucasus

12.01.2015. (Hvino News). The New York Times in its Travel section has published "52 Places to Go in 2015", including Georgia at 25th place, and specially mentioning several wineries and other wine-related destinations:
Georgia has all the makings of the next great wine destination: the world’s longest-running unbroken wine tradition (underground fermentation in clay vessels), hundreds of indigenous grape varieties, stunning landscapes and a band of vintners espousing natural methods. Its output has all become easier to sample, too, thanks to wine bars in the capital, Tbilisi (Konka, Vino Underground), a marked wine trail in Kakheti and wineries (Pheasant’s Tears, Iago’s Winery, Winery Khareba) serving traditional and modern Georgian cuisine. Those varietals will be feted this year at four major events: the New Wine Festival, Wine City Tbilisi at Tbilisifest, Telavino and the Tbilisi Cheese Festival...
The piece on Georgia in The New York Times is authored by Robyn Eckhardt, a freelance food writer based in Penang, China.

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Leading Georgian alcoholic drink producers to offer new assortments in 2015

12.01.2015. Sarajishvili, Gomi, Bagrationi 1882 and Teliani Valley will offer new products to their customers in 2015. While the import of alcoholic drinks sharply decreased in Georgia during 2014, the year appears to have been fairly successful for local producers. Euromonitor International has estimated Georgian alcoholic drinks to be one of the most promising markets in Eastern Europe.

According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the import of alcoholic drinks in Georgia dropped in 2014 in comparison with the prior-year period. A total of 3,587,800 litres of alcoholic drinks, worth USD 47,052,400, was imported in Georgia during the first eleven months of 2014. The figure was 5,467,100 litres, worth 34,000,900, in the same period of 2013.

With 2,025,200 litres, worth USD 15,088,600, vodka is the top imported alcohol beverage in Georgia. It is followed by whisky - the import of which amounted to 499,100 litres, worth USD 17,984,500.

One of the leading vodka producers in Georgia, company Gomi, saw 15% sales enlargement in 2014 in comparison with 2013. The company produced 1,760,000 litres last year.

JSC Sarajishvili [a brandy producer - HN] has continued its stable development and 2014 was no exception. “We ended the year fairly successfully. Like in previous years we had an increase in sales which were on average 15% higher than in 2013,” said Alexander Sakandelidze, head of sales at JSC Sarajishvili.

Friday, January 9, 2015

"The Telegraph" on Georgian wine-making

09.01.2015. Britain's The Telegraph has named Georgia as one of the most extraordinary destinations in the world.

“You might not have heard of Kakheti but you’re almost guaranteed to have enjoyed its most famous invention: wine. The Georgians have been making wine for 8,000 years and there’s recently been a revived interest in traditional wine-making techniques, with some of the country’s best wines now appearing on the wine lists at The Fat Duck, Hibiscus and Nobu.

Highlights of Kakheti include the 3,000 year old Uplistiske Rock City with its industrial-scale wine presses; the Ikalto Monastery where Orthodox priests kept meticulous viticulture records; fortified sacramental wine cellars larger than the churches they supplied; and the vineyards and wine cellars of Lagvinari, Georgia’s premier wine producer”, – the The Telegraph article says.


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Badagoni to launch new products in 2015

09.01.2015 (Hvino News). A wine company "Badagoni"  plans to increase the range of products in 2015.

According to the company’s founder Gogi Salakaia, the year 2014 was important for the company's development, a record number, namely 4 million bottles of wine, were exported, $ 5 million were invested that allowed the company to purchase a new production line.

Salakaia says that by the end of the year the company will offer customers a sparkling wine and the company will increase a whole range of products.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

A bottle of Georgian wine with every visa

06.01.2015. Georgian airports recently had a pleasant surprise for the
foreign visitors. Passengers were given a bottle of good Georgian wine along with their issued visa at passport and border checkpoints. As the pleased passengers said, it is the best visa for years of travel.

Visitors from Ukraine reported each of them was given even two bottles of Georgian wine -  as a symbolic sign of Georgia's solidarity with Ukraine, and in connection with the New Year holiday.

The label on the gift wine bottles has Georgia's coat of arms and inscriptions "Government of Georgia" and "Season's Greetings!"

It's a red dry saperavi of 2012's vintage. Probably, the wine is produced by one of the Georgia's state-owned wineries.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Restaurants tighten control over the quality of wine

06.01.2015 (Hvino News). Since January restaurants in Georgia will tighten control over the quality of wine - Otar Danelia, Minister of Agriculture, states.

According to the National Food Agency, this decision was taken due to the fact that many restaurants sell wine of unknown origin that poses a serious threat to both consumers and the reputation of Georgian wine.

Falsification is not only when one wine is sold instead of another in a bottle. Falsification is a poor quality wine diluted with water and sugar that happens quite often. There are cases when a special powder is diluted with water and the resulting liquid is called "wine". During monitoring restaurants will be required to provide proof that the sold wine is natural and contains no additives, "- say in the Agency.

Restaurants will be required to carry out laboratory tests, and obtain a certificate that confirms the naturalness of wine thatdoes not remove the responsibility from manufacturers.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Georgia among “less drunk” countries: How much alcohol does a Georgian drink

06.01.2015.  It is no mystery that Georgians are lovers of wine and alcohol in general. Though, recent statistics show that this love may not be as strong as once thought. Among 200 countries, Georgia is ranked 67th in terms of alcohol consumption. The data was published by World Health Organization. [For full detailed data, see here - Hvino News]

According to these statistical results, the average person consumes the largest amount of alcohol in Belarus (17.5 liters a year). The second is highest is Moldova (16.8 liters), third place- Lithuania (15.4), fourth place – Russia (15.1), fifth- Romania (14.1).

As for Georgians, according to the statistics, last year the average Georgian consumed 7.7 liters of alcohol during a one year period.

The result, besides men, includes women and adults above the age of 15. The authors of the survey note that the data includes homemade alcohol as well. According to the amount of homemade alcohol, Belarus is the leader, too.

The rating includes predictions for of following year as well. According to that data, the average Georgian is expected to consume less alcohol, about -6.7 liters a year.


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Monday, January 5, 2015

"Forbes" includes Georgian wines in its "9 Best Wines and Spirits to Start Drinking in 2015"

05.01.2015. (Hvino News) The recent issue of American ForbesLife magazine in its lifestyle section's "The 9 Best Wines and Spirits to Start Drinking in 2015" by Adam Morganstern has mentioned the Georgian wines:
The country of Georgia may not be familiar to the average wine drinker, but evidence suggests they’ve been making wine there longer than anywhere else (about 8,000 years). “They’re an exploration, a great way to open your mind to different worlds,” says Alice Feiring. “The 2012 and 2013 vintages are better than ever.” Orange wine (made when white grapes are allowed more skin contact time after crushing) is a popular method here and if you’ve never tried these wines, Feiring believes Georgia is the place to start. “Orange wines can sometimes be harsh with tannins and dried out,” she says. “But these wines have juiciness and a great balance of fruit and structure. Close your eyes, pretend you’re drinking a red and you’ll love it. ” Feiring highly recommends wines from Alaverdi Monastery, Pheasant’s Tears and Iago’s Wine. And if you want to learn more about these, and other natural wines, be sure to check out her newsletter.
ForbesLife magazine is the lifestyle supplement of the leading U.S. business magazine Forbes, a "definitive destination for the finest fashion, travel, homes, art, dining—and life's other indulgences".

Alice Feiring a is an American journalist and wine writer, known as an advocate for "natural wine".

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Food and wine at Pheasant's Tears

by Laura Kelley

03.01.2015. This is an essay that is long overdue. It’s been well more than a year since I ate delicious food paired with fantastic wines at Pheasant's Tears tasting room in Sighnaghi, Georgia. The dishes and the wine were wonderful and remain vivid in my memory, but they were also matched by the hospitality shown to me by the people of Pheasants Tears. My apologies, Gia, Tamar, Alex, and all of the other great folks I met that day. I hope that this post expresses how grateful I am for the time we spent together.

From the moment one steps through the elaborately carved doors of Pheasants Tears, you know that this isn’t just another tasting. You can feel the difference in the dusky pink stones and bricks that line the walls of the tasting room and you can see it in the smiling and laughing faces of the guests. There is LOVE here. You are surrounded by people who love what they do and who are anxious to share it with you.

Visits usually begin with a tour of the tasting room and its modest winemaking museum. A centuries-old carved, wooden basin for holding grapes for processing hints at old the art of vintning is in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti province. Sighnaghi is a few hundred miles from Areni-1 cave with its Copper Age wine production site (dated 4223 – 3790 BCE). In between these two points lies Shulaveri, Georgia where the oldest domesticated grape pips have been dated to eight thousand years ago. So clearly, viticulture, vintning, and wine drinking in Georgia are among the most ancient in the world.